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OCD advises the public to heed advisories and warnings about El Nino

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) urged the populace to follow government cautions on El Nino and take the appropriate action to prepare for its effects.

As a result, the El Nino watch status of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) was changed to El Nino alert on Tuesday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) directed regional DRRMCs and OCD regional offices to implement preparedness measures, including close monitoring of PAGASA warnings, the issuance of reminders on water and energy conservation, and the maintenance of water distribution systems to prevent wastage, in a memo dated May 3.

This also entails adhering to the public health advisory for El Nino and the minimum health standards for Covid-19 issued by the Department of Health, strengthening risk communication, localizing warnings and reminders to communities, and submitting regular reports to the NDRRM Operations Center.

On April 24, an interagency meeting was also conducted, with OCD Administrator Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno presiding. Nepomuceno underlined the necessity of identifying and coordinating short-, medium-, and long-term remedies for the El Nino phenomena from various government entities.

OCD, which also serves as the team co-chair, presented the proposed El Nino team’s membership, which would include representatives from the Departments of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, Energy, Health, and Science and Technology, as well as the National Economic and Development Authority, National Irrigation Administration, and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System. The team would be led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

The Philippine Armed Forces, the National Water Resources Board, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Presidential Communications Office make up its support team.

Various government organizations met on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments and future steps in El Nino preparation.

In a statement, OCD deputy administrator Assistant Secretary Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro IV said, “Let’s work together to ensure that we will be able to comply with the President’s (Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.) guidance and do what is expected from us in the first place.”

From March 23 to May 1st, the El Nino Watch was in force before PAGASA changed the monitoring status to El Nino Alert.

“PAGASA has been watching the tropical Pacific’s evolving El Nino conditions continuously. El Nino may develop in the upcoming season (June-July-August) with an 80% likelihood and may last until the first quarter of 2024, according to recent data and model projections. The PAGASA El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Alert and Warning System has now been upgraded to El Nino Alert as a result of this event, according to the state weather bureau’s report.

El Nino raises the possibility of below-average rainfall conditions, which might have detrimental effects like dry spells and droughts in various regions of the nation, according to PAGASA.

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